Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Tabloid Trash

Watching the news, I wonder if ABS-CBN has any social conscience of which to speak. Then, I remember: of course, they don’t.

Anyone remember the Wowowee tragedy a year ago?

And, once more, the people at ABS-CBN show that when it comes to respecting human dignity, they have a complete and utter lack of it.

Last week, the network ran a news story about a suitcase that was fished out of the water. Inside was the body of a young girl; electric wire was wrapped around her neck, and all she was wearing was a pair of bright yellow jogging pants.

How did the network people treat the story? By running shots of the girl’s legs sticking out of the suitcase. They also showed the upper body, pointing graphically at the wire around the girl’s neck; mercifully, they blotted out the girl’s face. But everything else was on display, just in time for primetime news. There wasn’t even a warning about the pictures before the story, to at least let parents protect their children from the gory details.

If that weren’t enough, in last night’s broadcast, they ran the shots again, the whole enchilada. I wouldn’t want to be the girl’s parents, though up to now, the girl’s identity remains a mystery.

Also in last night’s news was the story of a man who hacked his wife and children to death, and, of course, ABS-CBN showed us glimpses of bloody body parts peeking from underneath the shrouds.

Perhaps the people at ABS-CBN would say that they’re merely reporting the news as they see it, but what I see is a cheap attempt to attract viewers by showing shocking footage that probably shouldn’t have been aired to begin with. What they want is the masa or common people to be attracted to watching them, and, of course, any tactic is fair game, although, to be fair, their main rival, GMA, also resorts to such puerile tactics.

Maybe I’ll just stick to reading the news in the papers, or online, so that I don’t have to subject myself to trashy tabloid tactics.

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